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Brand name Propecia
Active ingredient Finasteride
Manufacturer Merck & Co., Inc.
FDA Approval Approved on Dec. 19, 1997
Prescription Yes
Form Tablets, 1 mg for oral adminisatration
Principle of action Propecia lowers the amount of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) in the scalp skin by inhibiting the conversion of testosterone hormone into dihydrotestosterone. DHT is considered to be one of the major causes of hair loss (the other cause is genetic predisposition).
Indication for use Mild to moderate male pattern hair loss (androgenetic alopecia) on the vertex (top of head) and anterior mid-scalp area in men only.
Who should not use Propecia? Women and children
How to take Propecia? One tablet by mouth each day with or without meal
When to expect the results? First results may appear in 3 months. After 12 months of treatment the results become visible (either hair loss stops or hair regrowth starts).
The period of treatment Propecia should be taken for 12 months to see whether it works on the particular person. If the results are positive, Propecia should be used continiously as long as one wants to grow and maintain hair. If a person stops taking Propecia, the hair loss usually returns in 12 months.
Effectives 90% (48% of patients experience hair regrowth and 42% of patients stop losing the hair)
Occurence of side effects Only 2% of patients experience side effects with Propecia
Common side effects Decreased Libido - 1.8 %

Erectile Dysfunction - 1.3 %

Ejaculation disorder - 1.2%

Other side effects: allergic reactions, breast tenderness and enlargement; testicular pain.

Special warning Propecia should not be used by women, who are or may get pregnant in view of possible serious birth defects
Other drug, containing finasteride Proscar, which is used to treat benign prostatic hyperplasia (enlarged prostate)


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